Days Ten, Eleven, Twelve: Share, Declutter and Provoke

Day Ten Jeff Goins told us to share others’ work, and fellow 15 Habits of Great Writers participant Marcie Colleen invites us to do so with a blink: blog about a writer we admire, and to post the link on her’s. I have chosen to put a spotlight on the work of Jon Agee (pronounced ay-gee).

Listen to Jon Agee read from Terrific

He has been making picture books for 30 years now, but I only just ‘met’ him this past year. When I  felt like I had read most of the picture books on the NEW! shelf (and thought it was about time to give the other kids a better chance at the suggested reading section) I decided to attack the library’s collection more efficiently and rummage through shelves for titles I haven’t read, starting with Section A. One per author was a good way to tackle it, and that’s when I found The Retired Kid (Hyperion,2008). How could I go wrong with a title like that!

Since then I have read all the other Agee titles my library district owns, and some from other connected libraries.

Now I’ll tell you why: it’s simple – they are funny. Lough-out-loud funny. Seriously funny. And his art is wonderful: simple, straightforward and delightful. Agee is a master of pure-form cartoon and composition. I hope you enjoy discovering these books as much as I still do.

Day Eleven: Goins reminds us to declutter, first our workspace, then our writing. “Eliminate weak, lazy words like “that” and “things” and anything you don’t absolutely need. Then say what you have to say and be done with it.” But this holds no dread for me as I love to put things in order, straighten and tidy (some friends might whisper OCD). I pick up on a hung picture askew like a dog notes eau de fox. A-hunting I will go!

And provoke: here I will link you to an interview with Laura Smith on the patientdreamer.com which captures the essence of Goins’ advice on why we need art.